Whats the Most Energy-Efficient AC Setting?

June 04, 2020

You shouldn’t have to give up comfort or empty your wallet to keep your home at a refreshing temperature during muggy weather.

But what is the right temp, exactly? We discuss advice from energy specialists so you can find the best temperature for your residence.

Here’s what we recommend for the most energy-efficient setting for air conditioning in Tuscaloosa.

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Summer

Most people find using the thermostat at 72-73 degrees provides ideal comfort. However, if there’s a sizeable difference between your interior and outside temps, your electrical costs will be greater.

These are our suggestions based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and ENERGY STAR®.

While at home: 78 degrees. While that seems warm, there are ways you can keep your home cool without having the air conditioning going all the time.

Keeping windows and window treatments shut during the day keeps chilled air where it should be—inside. Some window coverings, such as honeycomb shades or plantation shutters, are made to give more insulation and better energy conservation.

If you have ceiling fans in your residence, the DOE says you can move thermostat settings about 4 degrees warmer without giving up comfort. That’s since they refresh through a windchill effect. As they cool people, not areas, turn them off when you exit a room.

If 78 degrees still appears too warm on the surface, try conducting a test for a week or so. Start by raising your temperature to 78 degrees while you’re at your house. Then, progressively decrease it while using the ideas above. You may be astonished at how comfortable you feel at a hotter temperature setting.

While away: 88 degrees. There’s no need to keep the AC going all day while your home is unoccupied. Turning the setting 7¬¬–10 degrees warmer can save you as much as 5–15% on your cooling expenses, according to the DOE.

When you come home, don’t be tempted to put your thermostat under 78 to cool your home faster. This isn’t productive and usually produces a higher electrical bills.

A programmable thermostat is a helpful method to keep your settings under control, but it requires setting programs. If you don’t utilize programs, you might forget to increase the set temperature when you go.

If you need a hassle-free fix, think about installing a smart thermostat. This thermostat works with with your phone, so it realizes when you’re at home and when you’re away. Then it intuitively modifies temperature settings for the best savings. How much exactly? About $180 yearly on heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR.

Another benefit of having a smart thermostat? You can use your phone to monitor and adjust temperature settings from just about anywhere.

While sleeping: Around 70 degrees. While ENERGY STAR recommends 82 degrees, that could be too uncomfortable for most families. Many people sleep better when their bedroom is chilled, so that’s why the National Sleep Foundation suggests 60–67 degrees. But that could be too chilly, based on your pajama and blanket preference.

We suggest running a similar test over a week, moving your thermostat higher and steadily decreasing it to pick the ideal temp for your family. On mild nights, you may discover keeping windows open at night and relying on a ceiling fan is a better solution than running the air conditioner.

More Ways to Conserve Energy This Summer

There are additional methods you can save money on AC bills throughout hot weather.

  1. Install an energy-efficient AC system. Central air conditioners only are effective for about 12–15 years and get less efficient as they get older. An updated air conditioner can keep your home comfier while keeping cooling
  2. costs down.
  3. Book regular air conditioning maintenance. Routine air conditioner maintenance keeps your unit working properly and may help it work at greater efficiency. It could also help prolong its life cycle, since it enables techs to uncover seemingly insignificant troubles before they cause a major meltdown.
  4. Change air filters frequently. Follow manufacturer instructions for switching your air filter. A clogged filter can cause your system to short cycle, or switch on and off too much, and increase your cooling
  5. expenses.
  6. Inspect attic insulation levels. Almost 90% of homes in the U.S. don’t have enough insulation, according to the Insulation Institute. Many southern climates should have 13–14” of attic insulation, while northern climates need 16–18”.
  7. Have your ductwork checked. Ductwork that has come apart over the years can let conditioned air into your attic, walls or crawl space. This can create big comfort troubles in your house, such as hot and cold spots.
  8. Seal holes, doors and windows. Keep muggy air where it should be by closing openings. You can also caulk or weather strip doors to trap more conditioned air within your home.

Save More Energy During Hot Weather with KDM Service Corporation

If you want to use less energy this summer, our KDM Service Corporation specialists can help. Get in touch with us at 205-208-8090 or contact us online for additional information about our energy-efficient cooling solutions.